New here.. looking for some advices on a Cape Buffalo hunt for 2022

Red Leg

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Particularly with regard to buffalo, you are probably stepping off into a more complicated and deeper end of the pool than you would first imagine.

A buffalo hunt falls generally into two categories: 1) A wilderness hunt where your professional hunter will be working his butt off to find you the best and/or oldest bull he can in the time allotted or 2) a game farm/ranch hunt which will be conducted behind game fences often with pricing based upon the size of the animal taken. Both can be positive experiences and both have pitfalls about which you need to educate yourself.

Since you are travelling with a friend who is interested in plains game, you will need to further refine your search to include an outfit that can offer him a reasonable chance of fulfilling his goals as well. Many dangerous game wilderness areas offer relatively low density of plains game.

You also need to talk through the whole PH business. A buffalo in a wilderness area or properly managed ranch with self-sustaining herds can eat up a lot of miles and effort of a ten-day hunt. A guaranteed strain to a friendship will be a two x one arrangement with a PH where your partner spends the majority of "his" hunt trailing your dust as you try to walk down your buffalo.

The easiest environment to scratch both itches is a South African game ranch or a place like Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zim. There are good operations that are large enough to offer self-sustaining herds, and others where a bull will have been purchased and released for your shooting pleasure onto a fairly small property. Still others, carefully manage their animals, so much so, you essentially book which animal you intend to take. And still others price their bulls according to measurement and like a stag hunt in Europe, you will hunt for a bull of the class you can afford. Hence, it is important to pick the right ranch and management system. Several sponsors here can offer a great experience.

Wilderness areas are just that. In places like most of Zim, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia you will be hunting vast concessions where game animals are free to roam where they will. Your PH is looking for the right bull, not a specific bull - a rather huge difference in the focus of the hunt. Many of these concessions do offer excellent PG opportunities, but others do not. In other areas, time of year and conditions can make a huge difference. Ask pointed questions. Again, we have sponsors here who could tailor such a hunt for you and your partner.

Obviously, cost is another concern. Generally, usually, most of the time, a SA game farm hunt will be cheaper than a wilderness hunt. The wilderness trophy fee will be less, but the daily rate will be quite a bit more. That is another question to ask with respect to your PG only hunting friend. That rate, even in a wilderness area should be less.



Attached are a couple of my hunting reports - one of a game ranch hunt in SA and the other in the Zambezi Delta pf Mozambique. Use the search function, and you can find many others which will provide you a wealth of information.
 

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In order to focus the search for OP, but also for my own couriosity (looking for future buffalo hunt, on very non urgent basis), who are the outfitters in Bubye valley conservancy and Save Valley conservancy?
 

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In order to focus the search for OP, but also for my own couriosity (looking for future buffalo hunt, on very non urgent basis), who are the outfitters in Bubye valley conservancy and Save Valley conservancy?
John Sharp hunts the Bubye. Two that pop to mind in the Save are the Duckworth's (Mokore Safaris) and Roger Whittall Safaris (Humani Ranch).

I am not sure you should narrow down to just the Save and Bubye. I would not rule out Nyakasanga in the Zambezi Valley. I believe that CMS has either taken over the concession or bought the full quota there.

The most remote place I have hunted in Africa was the furthest upstream concession on the Luangwa in Zambia. Buffalo genetics and plains game were both first rate. Cat tracks are in every patch of sand you look at, and there is a lot of sand! At the time Mike Heath had it. I do not know who has it now, I know that Mike does not.
 

Tanks

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I am not sure you should narrow down to just the Save and Bubye. I would not rule out Nyakasanga in the Zambezi Valley. I believe that CMS has either taken over the concession or bought the full quota there.

CMS has increased their quota there a couple of years ago. Not sure if they got the whole thing.
 

curtism1234

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You also need to talk through the whole PH business. A buffalo in a wilderness area or properly managed ranch with self-sustaining herds can eat up a lot of miles and effort of a ten-day hunt. A guaranteed strain to a friendship will be a two x one arrangement with a PH where your partner spends the majority of "his" hunt trailing your dust as you try to walk down your buffalo.
A very critical point

It might be best to book seperate 1x1 and if your buddy wants to tag along with you for a couple days that's fine. If in doing so you stumble on something he wants, he can shoot. I'd do even more research and find a tandem PH duo that works well together...maybe a small operation with the owner guiding so there is no question of who is in charge.
 

IvW

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One advantage of hunting buffalo in RSA is that prior to the hunt one can pick their "wild" buffalo. ;)

Get monthly postcards, watch it grow.

View attachment 383602
Just more BS about DG hunting in SA, by uninformed people.....
 

IvW

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Very good comment Thanks Stuart

Its a huge misconception about hunting SA and what SA has to offer.In the end it's the clients preference.Do your research , talk to multiple outfitters.There are excellent outfitter's and properties in SA that can offer a great experience.

Nowhere on the continent do you have the diversity of fauna and flora that South Africa offer.South African game farmers has done exceptionally well in protecting and bringing back species from very low numbers like Roan , Sable ,Rhino and protecting areas and it's biodiversity.

Regards

Rouan
And one of the best disease free buffalo conservation stories funded and supported by hunters, farmers and outfitters....

Yes each person can decide what and where they want to hunt but I get really upset when uninformed people make stupid generalised comments that imply as above that SA buffalo are all pen bred and tagged and on other threads that wild lions are not huntable in SA or that if you wish to hunt XY or Z it can be placed on the farm before you arrive...wake up and get informed...
 

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

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Welcome and thanks for kicking off this great thread. I've hunted RSA a couple of times but not buffalo yet. Been getting that itch myself...part of the reason I joined here recently too.

Great advice from folks so far - appreciate it
 

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One advantage of hunting buffalo in RSA is that prior to the hunt one can pick their "wild" buffalo. ;)

I'm not sure what the purpose of your misleading post was supposed to accomplish..? I can only hope that your generalization and gross mischaracterization was not meant to be a deliberate slight to the many reputable RSA-based outfitters who are capable of offering many options for an exciting, challenging, truly fair chase Cape buffalo hunt within South Africa.

An African safari is a life-changing event that should be promoted and encouraged in all of it's many options. Each safari destination has it's own pros, cons, advantages, disadvantages, and respective costs that must be considered by all safari clients. The fact is that if it were not for the much more affordable easily accessible safari options offered in African countries like South Africa, the safari experience would be out of reach for the vast majority of traveling hunters.

To the OP, please feel free to contact me anytime in regard to planning your buffalo hunt. I have personally been on numerous buffalo hunts in several African countries including RSA, and I would be more than happy to provide you with straightforward, no BS information in regard to your many options to help you to make an informed decision.
 

cal

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The most remote place I have hunted in Africa was the furthest upstream concession on the Luangwa in Zambia. Buffalo genetics and plains game were both first rate. Cat tracks are in every patch of sand you look at, and there is a lot of sand! At the time Mike Heath had it. I do not know who has it now, I know that Mike does not.

I hunted the upper Luangwa with my brother a few years ago. We had one PH (Thor Kirchner) who we both hunted with the whole time. We both got really good buffalo, Livingstons eland, and chobe bushbuck. And it was special to be on my brothers hunts with him and have him there for mine. Another hunt in TZ we went with separate PH’s because we were going for a lot more species. So it’s a tricky relationship between number of species wanted, quantity on the concession and habitat (summer means long green grass and leaves on trees etc, harder to find animals).
Nothing wrong with a SA hunt with the right operator in the right area. I will be hunting buff this year in SA in a huge area I’ve hunted before with a great PH (Cullen Kelly from Gary Kelly safaris).
Enjoy the process of researching your hunt, it’s part of the fun! If you ask a lot of questions on here you won’t go wrong, don’t worry.
 

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Welcome aboard and best of luck in your decision!
 

Velo Dog

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Hello Qc_BearHunter,

Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris of Namibia, welcomes you to the greatest forum on earth.

You are wise to do your search and research here on AH Forum, just as you are doing.

When you get a spare moment, I invite you to have a look at the Khomas web site.

It is shown **at the bottom of all my posts and our other printed advertisement is often shown at the top of each AH Page as well.

If using a smart phone to read any of my posts, turn your phone onto it’s side to show our web site and contact info, **at the bottom of said Velo Dog ramblings.

We offer not-game-fenced “plains game”hunting, up in the Khomas Hochland Highlands of Namibia.

We also offer truly wild / not game fenced buffalo and other species of dangerous game hunts, out in the Zambezi Area (aka: Caprivi Strip).

Don’t miss our videos, especially on buffalo hunting.

No matter which Safari Company you end up focusing on, as you draw near to the end of your search, it is of the highest importance to read hunting reports from previous clients AND to contact previous clients with your questions.

You mentioned bullets and hand loads.
Nosler Partition bullets are one of the best soft skin game bullets ever dreamed up, they are quite good for non-dangerous game and big grumpy cats as well.

However IMO, the very best of the best bullets for African buffalo hunting is the Swift A-Frame.

Also, as thoroughly tough as A-Frames are, nonetheless they likewise are quite excellent bullets for all other manner of game animals, small, medium and large, except elephant plus hippo on land (solids for those two behemoths).

Your choice of rifles and caliber both, are as perfect for a mixed bag African hunt as has been invented in the world today.

That Model 70, in .375 H&H when loaded with 300 grain A-Frames, will make you well set for everything from buffalo and eland, down to duiker and steinbok, plus all critters in between.

Even if you decide to book with another outfit, I am always happy to discuss guns, iron sights, scopes, clothing, hats, gloves and any other gear with you, as I always am with anyone (anyone who can stand my hunting and fishing rants, LoL).

That reminds me, we also offer salt water fishing, at Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris.

Best Regards,
Velo Dog.
 
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fourfive8

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In order to focus the search for OP, but also for my own couriosity (looking for future buffalo hunt, on very non urgent basis), who are the outfitters in Bubye valley conservancy and Save Valley conservancy?
Specifically for the BVC, you book through their hunt safari company located in Bulawayo, Mazunga Safaris. At least that was the system year before last. Uncertain the exact PHs each year but recent past the PHs included, among others, John Sharp, Martin Nel, Peter Fick, Shaun Buffee, Brent Hein, Nigel Theisen and a few others. It looks like they are currently re-building their website. I believe Blondie Leathem is still the general manager of BVC
 
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Qc_BearHunter

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Based on your own research, where are you initially leaning?
I'm just beginning my search and I'm learning a lot. Especially in the difference between South Africa and the Rest of Africa.

I have a prospect PH in Zambia that looks really interesting. I got good reference for him by someone on a canadian hunting forum. His name is Thor Kirchner.
 

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I'm just beginning my search and I'm learning a lot. Especially in the difference between South Africa and the Rest of Africa.

I have a prospect PH in Zambia that looks really interesting. I got good reference for him by someone on a canadian hunting forum. His name is Thor Kirchner.
I think your off to a great start. Nothing compares to wild free range hunting like you will get in Zambia. I’ve heard nothing but good things about that PH and the reserve he hunts on.
 

fourfive8

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My experience in the upper Luangwa area is from a few years ago but imagine it is still about the same?? When Zambia shut down hunting for awhile most areas took a hit from poaching especially the more remote areas. How much those areas have recovered- I don't know. But I would think you would enjoy that area. Some elephant and lion and leopard for interest. Probably pretty good buffalo and of course best known for puku. Fair to middlin' bushbuck, waterbuck and impala. I did see some exceptional bushbuck there. Well worth putting some effort into for a good one but they can be sneaky hard to hunt in that riverine woodland habitat!! IMO one of the most attractive of the antelope. Unkown to fair kudu and most other PG. Current hartebeest and wildebeest status unknown?? The river has always had good hippo and crocs.
 
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375Fox

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Here is a YouTube video of a buffalo hunt there, the channel has several other videos of hunts in that area
 

MarkB

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Welcome to AH, as you can see we are all a very passionate hunting bunch on here. We live for hunting, you will be glad you joined. As for your request, I would recommend Zimbabwe, done both my buff and ele there and both were all I could ask for, for me its the best hunt for the costs. I only recommend someone I have experienced before and Wayne at http://www.nyamazanasafaris.com. has my nomination. Be honest, tell him exactly what you are looking for, he will be honest with you and tell you if he can assist. You can read many posts and reports on here from hunters he has PH'd for. Also I would pay close attention to the deals and offers on this site, sometimes you may be handed an awesome opportunity, especially in these crazy times. Again welcome to the best African Hunting site, get ready to commence your life changing event. Go and hunt your dream buff.

MB
 

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Although a little younger, I dreamt of wild buffalo too. I went to the valley on the Zim side. It was a wonderful hunt and experience and I would not change anything about it.

I will echo some earlier comments. Generalizations are not helpful and hurt reputations unnecessarily...and more importantly, they often aren't true. Just ask the right questions about the hunt and experience you want to have. Check references and ask others about their experience. You'll have a great hunt.
 

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